Easter is the biggest event in a bakery’s calendar and top chocolatier Paul A Young advises bakers that innovation is key for big sales.
While the supermarkets have Easter locked down with a host of tried-and-tested products, bakers can still claim their share of the market, said Young. “Easter will be very busy – we make more and more every year. Easter eggs and bunnies are what the people want – you can’t recreate the egg.”
However, there are ways to innovate around the traditional products, and Young suggests this is the way bakers tackle the holiday. “Bakeries have got to be innovative and offer better products than supermarkets,” he said.
“If, for example, a hot cross bun is a better product and cheaper than in the supermarket, people would rather buy a hot cross bun from a bakery than one in a packet. Quality and freshness are important, as is variety.
“I don’t think any bakery can ‘compete’ with supermarkets, certainly not with supermarket pricing. I think they should stand out – you just need to give people a reason to step in.”
What is possible
To show bakers what he means, Young made a ‘fondant egg’ exclusively for British Baker, inspired by the ever-popular Cadbury’s Creme Egg. Watch the video below to make your own in time for Easter.
“I think a ‘fondant egg’ could work,” said Young. “It is about baking something quirky. Use different flavours, such as a salted caramel filling, put a mini egg within the egg or use as a promotional product, such as buy 12 hot cross buns and get a free egg, or every 100th customer gets a free egg. Promotions like these cost nothing and work well.”
Young currently runs sites in Soho, where he is mainly based, Bank, Islington and within Heal’s on Tottenham Court Road.